The Daily Herald reports that March has proven to be the driest month recorded since 2000 at SXM Airport weather station, Meteorological Department of St. Maarten reported in its new weather and climate newsletter. March is normally the driest month of the year in the region based on both long-term and short-term records.
The weather conditions for the entire month of March 2014 were dominated by the Atlantic High-Pressure Ridge and the presence of a dry air mass in the mid to upper levels of the atmosphere, the newsletter stated.
March rainfall was approximately 80 per cent below normal in St. Maarten. Normal rainfall for March ranges from 31.3-58.8mm/1-2 inches. There were a series of dry spells throughout the month, with the longest being 12 days from March 8 to 19. The day with the most rainfall was March 23, when a mere 2.3mm was recorded.
The maximum and average daily temperatures on St. Maarten were within the normal range for the month of March while the minimum temperature was above normal.
The warmest day was March 27, with an average temperature of 26.7C/80F. Maximum daily sunshine hours were recorded on March 25 (11 hours, 12 minutes). Minimum sunshine hours were recorded on March 8 (four hours, six minutes). The windiest day was March 28, with a daily average wind speed of 14 knots/16mph. Skies were mostly fair throughout March.
According to the Caribbean Outlook Forum, the climate outlook for the season April, May and June is expected to be dry, with alternations of sunny days with short spells of showers, mostly without heavy rainfall in April. The climate will become wet in May, with some heavy rainfall,
and in June, there will be more frequent heavy rainfall.
Rainfall is expected to be below normal while temperatures are expected to be above normal.
Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) are presently slightly above normal and are forecasted to remain above normal throughout the season.
Moisture in the atmosphere is expected to increase during May-June.